Surprise!

Out of all of the surprises and “wait, no one told you?” moments I’ve had since I’ve been here, today definitely wins the award for catching me off guard. The only reason the surprise even surfaced was because I was chatting with Jenrika during lunch about the things that classes 9 and 10 need to work on in English and how the curriculum for the younger kids might need to change based on what we’re seeing in the older kids.

Totally typical conversation for us… until she said, “Well now that we have an extra week with them during the holiday, we can work on some of those things.” Wait. Pause. WHAT? I must have given her an extremely confused look because she said, “Wait, no one told you?” I shook my head (please, of course no one told me. That’s how this works). APPARENTLY, there’s a proposal in the works to have a week of classes during the upcoming month-long holiday, just for the class 9 and 10 kids. This news was released at a teacher’s meeting and my name was listed as one of the teachers who would be participating. Oh, okay.

Random roof view! But these mountains don’t get old (especially on the days when you can actually see them because the rain has cleared the smog).

I know I should be happy about having more time to work with the kids… but like I’ve said before, I don’t know that this teaching thing is really for me. I have been counting down the days to the holiday like my life depends on it. I was excited to have some time during the break to help out with projects that don’t include me trying to entertain 20 teenagers. You know, maybe even a project where I don’t have to interact with any people at all.

Okay, I’ll admit that’s an extreme. This teaching has really been wiping me out though. I’m an introvert, and by the time class is over each day, I just want to sit alone in my room and release my feelings. That probably doesn’t make any sense, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I have a super strong urge to create things. That’s the only way I can clear my head and calm myself down (if I don’t, my brain starts feeling twitchy). Sometimes that’s me journaling, sometimes it’s drawing… and currently those are really my only two options because I don’t have paint or glue or scissors bigger that children’s safety scissors with me here.

Sorry, MAJOR sidetrack. But yeah, so that’s the surprise of the day. An extra week of school! We have school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday next week (there’s a Buddhist holiday on Wednesday), and then the break starts on Saturday. We’ll have a week off before the bonus week, so at least that’s something. I pitched the idea to Jenrika about working together to plan and teach the classes that week, and she seemed like she might be into it. I have my fingers crossed! It would be so much better to have a partner… better for getting the kids interested and involved, and better for my mental health. Plus, I think we would work really well together.

A very small part of the school’s potted plant collection.

Random fun fact of the day: There are potted plants all over the school as part of the gardening classes the kids have on Saturdays. Today, each kid was supposed to bring two potted plants to contribute to the school’s collection. Obviously, everyone didn’t bring them, but I was very interested in what the plan was if everyone DID. There are almost 400 kids in the school… what on earth would they do with 800 POTTED PLANTS? Am I the only one who thinks that sounds completely insane? And potted plants take effort. Maybe I’m just baffled by this because of my complete lack of plant-growing skills (and abundance of plant-killing skills), but I think it sounds ridiculous no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome. Just also insane.

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